Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Stephen Strasburg, Jesus Montero, Tom Milone, Jacob Turner

by Nicholas Minnix on August 31, 2011 @ 10:27:37 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you tips on fantasy baseball players available as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. It's time to replace your fantasy baseball busts.

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Consider Add for speculation or because of need
Watch Track player, consider if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

 

Catchers

New York Yankees C Jesus Montero
More Pinstriped punch on the way

Jesus Montero, New York Yankees

One more time: The Yanks will call up Montero on Thursday, when rosters expand. Jorge Posada is already not a consideration at DH when the club faces a lefty. The New York Post's Joel Sherman suggests that Montero could perform well enough when he's given opportunities that he could push Posada off the postseason roster. Clearly, the Bronx Bombers are open to seeing what the kid will bring.

He brings catcher eligibility and a sharp hitting acumen. He had a slow start to his year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but his post-break .286-11-34 and .286/.352/.558 lines in 39 games gave a jolt to his numbers. In 420 at-bats this season, he's hit .288 with 18 ding dongs and 67 RBIs. His control of the strike zone could use some improvement, but he's a hitter.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

The Nats have set a tentative date for Strasburg's first start in the bigs since he had Tommy John surgery: This coming Tuesday, in the District, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Davey Johnson plans to limit him to about 60 pitches or four innings in that first one. Don't expect the Nats to let him go close to deep in any contest, in fact.

That fact limits his potential impact in a couple of ways, but Strasburg is capable of making a difference nonetheless. Although one of his rehab starts was essentially disastrous, in terms of results, he's been stellar in terms of the peripherals. In 14 1/3 innings (five appearances), he's allowed 13 hits (including one home run), nine runs (eight earned) and three walks. He's also struck out 25.

Although the right-hander is likely to be erratic once or twice, at least, when he's back in the majors, he's an exciting wild card at the end of your fantasy staff.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Tom Milone, Washington Nationals

Davey Johnson plans to leave this left-hander in the rotation for the balance of the season once he gets the call. Milone's first big-league start will come on Saturday against the New York Mets.

The Washington Times' Amanda Comak reports that the 24-year-old was the club's 2010 minor league pitcher of the year for his work at Double-A Harrisburg all season. He went 12-5 with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, a 8.83 K/9 and a 1.31 BB/9 in 158 frames. This season, at Triple-A Syracuse, Milone was 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, a 9.40 K/9 and a 0.97 BB/9. As you can see, he's kind of a control freak.

The numbers might be deceiving, regarding his repertoire. Comak notes that Milone's heater sits in the range of 87 to 90 mph. Nats backstop Jesus Flores calls the southpaw's hook and changeup "out pitches," and Milone also tosses a cutter. These aren't negatives. If the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is aggressive and remains in command, he'll be successful.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Jacob Turner, Detroit Tigers

The Tigers will call up Turner for his second career MLB start on Thursday, against the Kansas City Royals. He'll remain with the club for the stretch run so that Jim Leyland will have the right-handed phenom at his disposal should he need an emergency starter, to skip someone or to go in a makeup game.

Turner, 20, was solid in his debut outing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 30. He took a loss but went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and three walks while fanning six. As KFFL prospect hound Chris Hadorn notes, the Tigers have often been aggressive with young pitchers who have great success and the pedigree. Turner easily fits that mold.

In three starts (17 1/3 stanzas) at Triple-A Toledo, the right-hander was 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA, a 10.38 K/9 and a 1.56 BB/9. Prior to that, at Double-A Erie, he was 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA, a 7.13 K/9 and a 2.53 BB/9 in 17 starts (113 2/3 innings). He's good. It's nearly impossible to justify stashing a player like this in mixed leagues - unless the Tigers end up needing him in the regular five - but the gamble on the inexperienced hurler could end up paying AL dividends.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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